Squirrel Flower

Squirrel Flower




“Through floods, tornadoes and burning cars ‚Äď [Squirrel Flower] firmly places us within that world right alongside her”
5/5 The Skinny

9/10 Clash

Planet (i)¬†is a kindred spirit, a compelling force you‚Äôre drawn to listen to over and over again”
8/10 The Line of Best Fit

Watch the video for ‘Full Time Job’ here:

Watch the video for ‘When A Plant Is Dying’ here:

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Today,¬†Squirrel Flower¬†‚ÄĒ the Chicago-based project of¬†Ella Williams¬†‚ÄĒ announces her new album,¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire, out 13 October on¬†Full Time Hobby¬†(Polyvinyl in the US) and presents its two lead singles, ‘Full Time Job’ and ‘When A Plant Is Dying’. She has also announced a string of UK tour dates including a show in¬†London¬†for¬†Pitchfork Music Festival. While Williams‚Äô early work was often hushed and minimal, there has always been a barely contained storm in her music.¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire¬†is that storm breaking open, a rock record, made to be played loud.¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire¬†glides effortlessly over emotional states of being, lightness and heaviness, and cements Williams‚Äô status as one of our finest songwriters.

Lead singles ‘Full Time Job’ and ‘When a Plant is Dying’ narrate the universal desperation that comes with living as an artist. The frustration in Williams‚Äô lyrics is echoed by the music‚Äôs uninhibited, ferocious production. “There must be more to life/ Than being on time,” she sings on the latter‚Äôs towering chorus. Lyrics like that one are fated to become anthemic, and¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire¬†overflows with them. ‚ÄúDoing my best is a full time job/ But it doesn‚Äôt pay the rent‚ÄĚ Williams sings on ‘Full Time Job’ over careening feedback, her steady delivery imposing order over a song that is, at its heart, about a loss of control. The accompanying ‘Full Time Job’ / ‘When a Plant is Dying’ videos, directed by¬†Lua Borges, see Williams across a variety of terrain.

The music Williams makes as Squirrel Flower has always communicated a strong sense of place. The most recent, Planet (i), was laden with climate anxiety, while the subsequent Planet EP marked an important turning point in Williams’ prolific career; the collection of demos was the first self-produced material she’d released in some time. With a renewed confidence as a producer, she helmed Tomorrow’s Fire at Drop of Sun Studios in Asheville alongside storied engineer Alex Farrar (Wednesday, Indigo de Souza, Snail Mail). Williams and Farrar tracked many of the instruments, building the songs together during the first week, and then assembled a studio band that included Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver), Seth Kauffman (Angel Olsen band), Jake Lenderman (MJ Lenderman, Wednesday), and Dave Hartley (The War on Drugs) lending their contributions.

As if to signal this shift, the album opens with the soaring ‘i don‚Äôt use a trashcan’, a re-imagining of the first ever Squirrel Flower song. Williams returns to her past to demonstrate her growth as an artist and to nod to those early shows, when her voice, looped and minimalistic, had the power to silence a room. She cites artists like Jason Molina, Tom Waits, and Springsteen as fonts of inspiration for¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire, musicians who knew how to write into the mind of a stranger, who could tell you the story of a life in under four minutes. “The songs I write are not always autobiographical, but they‚Äôre always true,” Williams says.

Less than an hour south of Chicago, along the shores of Lake Michigan, sits the Indiana Dunes, a protected expanse of shoreline recently designated a National Park. When Williams first visited the Dunes, she was awed by the juxtaposition of its natural splendour within the surrounding industrial corridor of Northwest Indiana. “Every time I go there, it changes my life”, she says, without a hint of hyperbole.”You stand in the marshlands and to your left is a steel factory belching fire and to your right is a nuclear power plant”. Across the water, Chicago waits, its glistening towers made possible by the same steel forged here. For as long as she‚Äôs been making music, Ella Williams‚Äô songs have been products of the environments they‚Äôre written in, born out of the same world they so vividly hold a mirror to. This environment is where her magnetic new album,¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire, lives.

Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire¬†might sound like the title of an apocalypse album, but it‚Äôs not.¬†Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire¬†references the title of a novel Williams‚Äô great-grandfather Jay wrote about a troubadour, named for a line by the Medieval French poet Rutebeuf, a troubadour himself: “Tomorrow‚Äôs hopes provide my dinner/ Tomorrow‚Äôs fire must warm tonight”. Centuries on, the quote spoke to Williams, who describes the fire as a tool to wield in the face of nihilism. Tomorrow‚Äôs Fire is what we take solace in, what we know will make us feel okay in the morning, how we light the path we’re walking on.

Photo credit: Alexa Viscius

Pre-order¬†Tomorrow’s Fire¬†here:

High-res images can be found here.

UK Tour dates

4 Nov –¬†Bristol¬†@ Rough Trade
5 Nov –¬†Brighton¬†@ The Hope and Ruin
6 Nov –¬†Leeds¬†@ Brudenell Social Club
7 Nov –¬†Manchester¬†@ Gullivers
9 Nov –¬†Edinburgh¬†@ Voodoo Rooms
11 Nov –¬†London¬†@ Pitchfork Music Festival

13 Nov –¬†Paris, FR @ Supersonic
15 Nov –¬†Rotterdam, NL @ V11
16 Nov –¬†Brussels, BE @ Botanique
18 Nov –¬†Berlin, DE @ Lark

Full dates and tickets are available here:

Praise for Planet (i):

“Through floods, tornadoes and burning cars ‚Äď [Squirrel Flower] firmly places us within that world right alongside her”
5/5 The Skinny

9/10 Clash

Planet (i)¬†is a kindred spirit, a compelling force you‚Äôre drawn to listen to over and over again”
8/10 The Line of Best Fit

“Dark, evocative and minor-key rich”
8/10 Uncut

“Richly allegorical, sonically parched and squally”
The Sunday Times

“On [Planet (i)], the road is a space of intimacy and disaster. Her vivid songwriting and bright, searching voice bring both sides to life”

“Feels more and reaches further”
4/5 Dork

Planet (i)¬†is beautifully poised”
9/10 God Is In The TV

“A grunge-folk intoxicant that comes in at under three minutes but will stick with you for hours”
The Guardian ‚ÄėTrack of the Week‚Äô

“Undoubtedly Squirrel Flower‚Äôs finest work yet,¬†Planet (i)¬†might just be my favourite record of 2021″
Secret Meeting

“Penetrating these bleak times with her powerful voice and uncompromising honesty”
77% Beats Per Minute

“Her presence as a vocalist and songwriter remains singularly electrifying”
Our Culture

“The world is burning and Squirrel Flower is writing a love letter to the fire, who knew the apocalypse would sound this good?”
For The Rabbits

“While landscapes fall apart and fissure, Williams‚Äô voice feels consistently near”
Still Listening

“Lush, hazy folk”
The New Cue

“Another set of songs that perfectly cradle this rare voice”